Blue + Green 2021

Aquaculture for the Economy and Ecosystem

First Annual Webinar Series focused on Aquaculture

Event Overview

The Blue + Green 2021 webinar series will include 4 one-hour webinars scheduled on Thursdays in May 2021 at 4 pm.  The goal of the project is to shine a spotlight on emerging aquaculture sector in our economy.  Aquaculture and the supporting technologies bring together all the key ingredients – future growth opportunities that support our coastal ecosystems the economy, jobs, and our communities.  This webinar series reimagines partnerships between business, government, universities, and communities through regenerative ocean research, exploration, and equity-based economic development.

Planning Committee

Meredith Brooks – Strategic Grants and Special Projects Manager, Consultant, AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles

Michael H. Kelly – Executive Director, The Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy & Jobs

Jenny C. Krusoe – Founding Executive Director, AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles

Janet E. Kübler, Ph.D. – Biology Department, California State University Northridge

Sherry M. Sidick, M.S. – Associate Director of Educational Partnerships Development, California State University, Northridge

Natale A. Zappia, Ph.D. – Director, Institute for Sustainability, Associate Professor, Department of History, California State University, Northridge

Sponsors

AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles is dedicated to accelerating scientific collaboration, advancing an emerging blue economy through business innovation and job creation, and inspiring the next generation, all for a more sustainable, just, and equitable world.

Founded in 2008, the Institute for Sustainability works with stakeholders across campus to integrate sustainability into all aspects of the university from operations and infrastructure to outreach, education, and research.  The Institute serves all the colleges of the university, working to increase interdisciplinary and cross-functional communication, education, and research on sustainability.

The Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy & Jobs (The L.A. Coalition) is an independent, bipartisan membership organization, established in 2009, to bring together leaders from the region’s business, labor, academic and nonprofit communities to advance sound policy initiatives that will help to responsibly grow the economy and create quality jobs throughout the L.A. region.

Los Angeles’ history has shown that in key moments the region’s leaders have come together to ensure that L.A. is the top region to invest in, develop skilled and confident entrepreneurs and drive creative and innovative ideas through an educated workforce.

Beneficial State Bank (Beneficial State) opened in 2007 under a unique foundation ownership model and has 14 local branches throughout California, Oregon and Washington. We offer checking, savings, loans, credit cards, online and mobile banking and everything else you’d expect from a bank—but we exist to serve your prosperity and goals, not to profit from them. Beneficial State Bank, pursues economic justice and environmental sustainability by focusing on change-makers that need loan capital.

Schedule

Session 1: What is Regenerative Aquaculture?

Recorded Thursday, May 6th, 2021 at 4:00 PM

Speakers:

Janet E. Kübler, Ph.D., Biology Department, California State University Northridge

Janet Kübler is a marine biologist with decades of experience working with seaweeds. My research program has two main currents. One addresses climate change and disturbance effects on primary producers, focusing on scope for resilience. Working at the interface of the biotic and abiotic, this research addresses how biogeochemical effects on algae and aquatic plants can emerge in ecosystem level patterns. The other employs the complex life cycles, common in algae, to test hypotheses about relative adaptive advantages and ecological consequences of reproductive patterns. I also explore the transfer of biological knowledge to applications through biologically inspired design collaborations and regenerative aquaculture. 

Finian Makepeace, Co-founder, Policy Director & Lead Educator, Kiss the Ground

Finian Makepeace is the co-founder of Kiss the Ground and a renowned presenter, media creator, and thought leader in the field of regenerative agriculture and soil health. His dedication to Kiss the Ground’s mission of “inspiring participation in global regeneration, starting with soil”, has motivated him to develop training programs, workshops, and talks designed to empower people around the world to become confident advocates for this growing movement. https://kisstheground.com/

Charles Yarish, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, The University of Connecticut

Dr. Charlie Yarish is an extensively published, award-winning Professor Emeritus at the University of Connecticut (UCONN). Among his many achievements, he is credited for his involvement in developing the global and North American seaweed aquaculture industries and establishing the internationally recognized Seaweed Marine Biotechnology Laboratory at UCONN.

Charlie spent years studying why seaweeds occur where they occur, including how light, temperature, salinity, and nutrients impact seaweed physiology. In the 1980s, Charlie collaborated with a multi-national group of scientists and engineers to develop and define multispecies ocean farming or Integrated Multi-trophic Aquaculture (IMTA), which we now call regenerative ocean farming. In 1992, Charlie organized a team of scientists in New England to study the red seaweed called nori. They found vast differences in physiology, cytology and the DNA of the nori in the U.S, which lead to many publications on the aquaculture of nori. In 2010, his colleagues published a paper that ultimately spearheaded the effort to revise the genus of Porphyra (also known as nori) into 147 different species in up to 11 different genera. https://eeb.uconn.edu/

Moderator:

Val Zavala 

Val Zavala was anchor and executive producer of “SoCal Connected” until her retirement in 2018. Since joining KCET in 1987 she has won 15 L.A. Emmy awards. She has covered major issues in southern California politics, education, government, demographics, healthcare, environment, economy, and arts and culture. She has been honored for her community service by numerous organizations including the California Chicano News Media Association, and Hispanic Americans for Fairness in Media among others. She was a John S. Knight Journalism fellow at Stanford University in 1993. She received her M.A. in journalism from American University and her B.A. in Latin American Studies from Yale University. https://www.kcet.org/people/val-zavala

Session 2: Aquaculture Industry and LA

Recorded Thursday, May 13th, 2021 at 4:00 PM

Speakers:

Paul Dobbins, Senior Director of Impact Investing and Ecosystems Services, Aquaculture, World Wildlife Foundation

Paul Dobbins is the Senior Director of Impact Investing and Ecosystems Services on the WWF-US Aquaculture team. He is identifying companies for impact investment, stakeholder collaboration, and research opportunities that will accelerate the growth of seaweed and shellfish farming. His project, titled Advancing Aquaculture for Climate Gains, includes research into the potential market for feed additives for ruminants and the development of new markets for seaweed biomass.

Before joining WWF Paul operated shellfish farms and spent a decade leading the development of the country’s first open ocean commercial kelp farms. He has served on the advisory boards of NOAA SeaGrant, the Aquaculture Research Institute at the University of Maine, the Maine Aquaculture Association, Focus Maine, and the Conservation Law Foundation, a serves as a delegate to the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. https://www.worldwildlife.org/

Diane Kim, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Holdfast Aquaculture

I’m a biological oceanographer and marine microbial ecologist by training, turned kelp biologist by way of a Department of Energy project I began working on in 2017 to explore kelp as a potential biofuel source (you can learn more about the project on NPR’s All Things Considered). I earned my Ph.D. from the Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography department at USC in 2013 and have over 10 years of oceanographic and microbiological research experience that I bring to the HoldFast team. My growing interest in sustainable and regenerative food systems began in 2014 with research, education and outreach efforts using aquaponics (a system that combines aquaculture and hydroponics). And now, I’m excited to combine my love for ocean science with sustainable food production through the work we do at HoldFast. Oh, it also helps that I love to eat shellfish and seaweed! https://www.holdfastaq.com/ 

Ferris Kawar, Sustainability Project Manager, Santa Monica College

For the past 20 years Ferris has been using his degree in Marketing and his experience working at an ad agency to promote environmental awareness instead of product consumption. 

As a behavioral change professional, Ferris has found himself teaching sustainability workshops, producing climate-related media, researching and published green business guides to LA, SF and NYC, and serving as Recycling Specialist for the City of Burbank. 

Ferris is currently the Sustainability Project Manager for Santa Monica College where he gets to work with students, faculty and staff to keep the institution’s sustainability leadership position strong among the community colleges in California. https://www.smc.edu/community/sustainability/ 

Moderator:

Michael H. Kelly, Executive Director, The Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy & Jobs

Michael H. Kelly currently serves as the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy & Jobs, a non-profit bi-partisan organization that brings together leaders from business, labor, academia and nonprofits to advance initiatives that generate economic growth, create quality jobs and a skilled work-force, and improve the region’s overall quality of life.

Prior to working with the Los Angeles Coalition, Mr. Kelly has worked in a number of high-level positions, both in the private sector with The Boeing Company and with California Governor’s Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

He currently serves as the chair of the FUSE Corps L.A. Advisory Committee, founding chair of the Philanthropic Foundation for California State University, Dominguez Hills, a partner at Saving The West and an advisory board member for WorkingNation.

Session 3:

Policy and Politics

Recorded Thursday, May 20th, 2021 at 4:00 PM

Speakers:

Mark Gold, Executive Director, Ocean Protection Council; Deputy Secretary for Ocean and Coastal Policy, California Natural Resources Agency

Mark Gold joined OPC in July of 2019. As Executive Director of OPC and the Deputy Secretary for Ocean and Coastal Policy for the California Natural Resources Agency, Mark serves as a key advisor to Governor and the Secretary of Natural Resources and directs policy, scientific research, and critical partnerships to increase protection of coastal and ocean resources in California. Prior to his appointment, he was the UCLA Associate Vice Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability where he led their Sustainable Los Angeles Grand Challenge effort. Prior to UCLA, Mark was the first hire at Heal the Bay, where he served as their President for 18 years. During that time, he worked on ocean and coastal legislation and policy, stormwater, watershed management, and marine conservation and coastal restoration issues, projects and programs. Over the course of his career, his research focused on beach water quality and health risks, as well as sustainable water resources management. Mark received his bachelor’s and master’s in Biology as well as his doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering, all from UCLA.

Michael H. Kelly, Executive Director, The Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy & Jobs

Michael H. Kelly currently serves as the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy & Jobs, a non-profit bi-partisan organization that brings together leaders from business, labor, academia and nonprofits to advance initiatives that generate economic growth, create quality jobs and a skilled work-force, and improve the region’s overall quality of life.

Prior to working with the Los Angeles Coalition, Mr. Kelly has worked in a number of high-level positions, both in the private sector with The Boeing Company and with California Governor’s Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

He currently serves as the chair of the FUSE Corps L.A. Advisory Committee, founding chair of the Philanthropic Foundation for California State University, Dominguez Hills, a partner at Saving The West and an advisory board member for WorkingNation. 

Sandra Whitehouse, Ph.D., Senior Policy Advisor, Ocean Conservancy

Dr. Sandra Whitehouse is a consultant who is uses her marine science expertise to advise clients on ocean policies focused on how to advance ocean health and sustainably develop coastal and offshore projects. Her clients have included governments, companies and nonprofit organizations. Currently she serves as the Senior Policy Advisor to Ocean Conservancy and as a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. She is on the board of The National Council for Science and the Environment. Dr. Whitehouse holds a B.S. from Yale University and a Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island. https://www.oceancollectiv.co/

Moderator:

Wendy Greuel

A working mom and lifelong Angeleno, Wendy attended LA public schools and graduated from UCLA. Wendy started her career in public service working for her mentor, former Mayor Tom Bradley, where for ten years she worked on a wide range of public policy issues including child care, senior care homelessness, housing, public health and education.

While in Mayor Bradley’s office, Wendy was a leader in the creation of LA’s BEST, a nationally recognized after school program that provides a safe and supervised environment for children after school, and helped found the city’s first childcare center.

Wendy’s commitment to affordable housing led her to Washington D.C., where she served in President Clinton’s administration as the Deputy Director of the Interagency Council on Homelessness and later as the Southern California Regional Director at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In 1997, Wendy transitioned into the private sector, working for five years in the film industry as an executive at DreamWorks SKG. She provided strategic guidance in their civic and philanthropic efforts in the Los Angeles Region.

In 2002, Wendy was elected to the Los Angeles City Council and quickly developed an impressive record of accomplishment by creating jobs, preserving open space and reducing traffic congestion.

In 2009, Wendy was elected City Controller, becoming only the second woman in LA’s history elected to citywide office. As Controller, she brought a laser focus to examining government finances ensuring our taxpayer dollars were spent efficiently and she brought greater transparency to government.

In 2013, Wendy was engaged by the Orange County Discovery Science Center to help open a new facility in the San Fernando Valley. She is providing strategic advice on Board development, fundraising and civic engagement for Discovery Cube L.A.

In addition, in 2016, Wendy was appointed as an Executive in Residence and Strategic Advisor at the California State University Northridge Nazarian College of Business and Economics.

She currently serves as Chair of the LAHSA Commission working on homeless issues and on the boards of L.A. Family Housing, Emerge, Everychild Foundation, East Valley YMCA, Oakwood School, Discovery Cube L.A. and on the L.A. Kings Business Advisory Board.

Wendy and her husband Dean are the proud parents of Thomas, who attends Walter Reed Middle School. 

Session 4: Aquaculture and the Future

Recorded Thursday, May 27th, 2021 at 4:00 PM

Speakers:

Prof. Brian Beale, Cooperating Professor of Marine Ecology, Research Director of Downeast Institute, University of Maine

Dr. Beal is a professor of marine ecology at the University of Maine at Machias (UMM). His position at UMM is divided equally between teaching and research,  and includes his work at DEI.  In addition, Dr. Beal directs UMM’s Marine Field Station at Black Duck Cove.

A native of Jonesport, Maine, Dr. Beal graduated from UMM in 1979 with a B.S. degree in Biology and went on to earn an M.S. degree in Marine Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He obtained a Ph.D. in Marine Bio-Resources from the University of Maine at Orono.

Dr. Beal was instrumental in establishing Maine’s first lobster hatchery in the town of Cutler in 1986. He worked with clammers and shellfish committees in six Washington County towns to create Maine’s first public clam hatchery in 1987, known as the Beals Island Regional Shellfish Hatchery. Dr. Beal is known for his work with soft-shell clams throughout the eastern U.S. and Canada. He was a 2000-2001 Fulbright scholar at the National University of Ireland, Galway where he worked with Irish fishermen and researchers on ocean-based nurseries for cultured European lobster (Homarus gammarus) juveniles.

Peter Bryant, Senior Program Officer, Walton Personal Philanthropy Group and The Builders Initiative

Peter Bryant is a senior program officer focused on strategy development, environmental grant-making, and impact investment opportunities for the Walton Personal Philanthropy Group and The Builders Initiative, a new foundation established by a third generation member of the Walton family. Within these institutions, Peter is focused on the oceans sustainability, including fisheries management, aquaculture, ocean conservation, and climate resilience work. Peter also leads an impact investing strategy for the office, which is focused on early stage investment opportunities in businesses and funds that seek to improve oceans health.  

Previously, Peter spent nine years at the Walton Family Foundation managing ocean and fisheries grant-making within the Environment Program with a focus on international geographies, including Indonesia, Chile, Mexico, and Costa Rica. Peter has more than 20 years’ experience in freshwater and marine conservation, previously managing programs on river conservation and marine fisheries at several organizations, including The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund. Early in his career, Peter focused on corporate partnerships for conservation and communications and marketing.

Peter received his undergraduate degree in economics from Colby College and has a Master’s in environmental management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He lives with his children in Carlsbad, California.

Thierry Chopin, Ph.D., Professor of Marine Biology, University of New Brunswick, Saint John, Canada

Dr. Thierry Chopin was born and educated in France. He obtained his Doctorate from the University of Western Brittany, Brest, France. He moved to Canada in 1989 and is presently Professor of Marine Biology at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John.

Dr. Chopin’s research focuses on the ecophysiology, biochemistry and cultivation of seaweeds of commercial value and the development of Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) systems for environmental sustainability (nutrient biomitigation and other ecosystem services, and green technologies for improved ecosystem health), economic stability (improved output, product diversification, risk reduction and job creation in coastal communities) and societal acceptability (better management practices, improved regulatory governance and appreciation of differentiated and safe products).

Dr. Chopin was, from 2010 to 2017, the Scientific Director of the Canadian Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture Network (CIMTAN), an interdisciplinary strategic network of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

He created the company Chopin Coastal Health Solutions Inc. in July 2016 and is its President.

Dr. Chopin is Past President of the Aquaculture Association of Canada, the Phycological Society of America and the International Seaweed Association. He is an advisor to the International Foundation for Science and a member of the Editorial Boards of six journals and one professional magazine. He is a columnist with International Aquafeed.

Dr. Chopin is the recipient of the NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation, the Aquaculture Association of Canada Research Award of Excellence, the New Brunswick BioSciences Achievement Award, the R3 (Research, Results, Recognition) Award of the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, and the Coup de Coeur Award of the Conseil Economique du Nouveau-Brunswick.

Moderator:

Val Zavala

Val Zavala was anchor and executive producer of “SoCal Connected” until her retirement in 2018. Since joining KCET in 1987 she has won 15 L.A. Emmy awards. She has covered major issues in southern California politics, education, government, demographics, healthcare, environment, economy, and arts and culture. She has been honored for her community service by numerous organizations including the California Chicano News Media Association, and Hispanic Americans for Fairness in Media among others. She was a John S. Knight Journalism fellow at Stanford University in 1993. She received her M.A. in journalism from American University and her B.A. in Latin American Studies from Yale University. 

Session 5: Aquaculture and California

Date: Tuesday, June 29th, 4:00 PM

To register, click here!

Speakers:

Dr. Kristin Aquilino, lead scientist for the White Abalone Captive Breeding Program based at University of California, Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory

Dr. Kristin Aquilino is the lead scientist for the White Abalone Captive Breeding Program based at University of California, Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory and including a dozen partners along the west coast of North America. Her research focuses on the reproductive conditioning and husbandry of endangered white abalone, as well as the effects of climate change and disease on their captive and wild populations. She is a member of the California Sea Grant Extension team, connecting her work with state and federal agencies, Indigenous nations, commercial aquaculture growers, aquariums, and other stakeholders. Dr. Aquilino is a recipient of NOAA’s Species in the Spotlight Hero Award.

Dr. Luke Gardner, California Sea Grant Extension Specialist, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California San Diego

Luke Gardner, PhD, is a California Sea Grant Extension Specialist based at the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. Gardner is a biologist whose work focuses on leading and supporting research, extension activities, and education in the field of aquaculture. His work explores how aquaculture intersects with coastal California’s environment, economy, and citizens, and supports the development of sustainable aquaculture activities while balancing the economic, environmental and social needs of Californians to produce a net positive benefit to the state. Gardner identifies emerging issues and opportunities in California and how aquaculture may influence them in an effort to find community supported solutions. Gardner earned his PhD from Queensland University of Technology, Australia, and BS in aquaculture from James Cook University, Australia.

Dr. Kevin Marquez Johnson, Sea Grant Extension Specialist based at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Kevin Johnson, PhD, is a California Sea Grant Extension Specialist based at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Johnson is a marine biologist working to understand the genetic potential for adapation to environmental stress in aquaculturally important marine invertebrates. Johnson seeks to build collaborations with students and faculty at Cal Poly, aquaculture growers, Indigenous nations, state and federal agencies, and local stakeholders. Through these collaboration, his work will focus on emergent issues in California and will highlight educational and career opportunities in aquaculture. Johnson earned his PhD from the UC Santa Barbara and his BS from CSU Monterey Bay. 

Moderator:

Charlotte Stevenson, M.S., is a Science Writer for USC Sea Grant.

Ms. Stevenson is a freelance science writer, editor, and communicator with 14 years of diverse experience writing for congressional offices, federal and state agencies, non-profits, start-ups, and newspapers. She has served as the Science Writer for USC Sea Grant since 2010, writing articles, newsletter content, strategic planning, grant reporting, and website content. Her combination of skills are best seen in Sea Grant publications like Apocalypse Cow, The Urban Mariner, and Plastic Debris in the California Marine Ecosystem: A Summary of Current Research, Solution Strategies, and Data Gaps which she completed for the California Ocean Science Trust.

Ms. Stevenson brings a very technical understanding and perspective to her science writing. At the same time, Ms. Stevenson’s 2006 National Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship placement in D.C. and participation in California’s South Coast Marine Life Protected Area process gave her a nuanced understanding of policy and politics that inform her writing as well. As a prolific creative writer, Ms. Stevenson excels at storytelling, bringing science to life, setting the stage for complicated policy, and, most importantly, making science accessible to all.